USA

Study confirms importance of coupling interlock programmes with rehabilitation courses

Study confirms importance of coupling interlock programmes with rehabilitation courses

A new report has confirmed that alcohol interlock programmes are most effective at reducing recidivism when combined with rehabilitation programmes. The study, published in Alcoholism: clinical & experimental research, found that in the 12-48 months following the removal of an alcohol interlock, recidivism by those drivers who had also followed an alcohol use disorder programme was 32% lower than those that had only used the interlock device. The research was based on data from the U.S. state of Florida’s alcohol interlock programme.  The Florida […]

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

The United States, China, Germany, Australia and the UK are among the countries to have made major announcements on rules governing self-driving cars in recent months, while the EU’s transport commissioner has promised a ‘master plan’ by the end of the year. ETSC says many safety questions remain unanswered. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a set of guidelines in September that called for voluntary reporting from carmakers on how their systems were tested, how they work and what happens if […]

The US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US government wants a mobile phone ‘Driver Mode’ to reduce distraction

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued new guidelines aimed at encouraging phone manufacturers to introduce an automatic ‘Driver Mode’ to cut down on distracting apps and messages while driving. The proposals, announced earlier this month, are voluntary. They envisage a simplified display, and a block on distracting apps, both of which could be activated automatically while driving.  Samsung’s popular Galaxy series of phones offer a drive mode already but it must be activated manually. Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone has no such feature, […]

Deaths on US roads increase 8%

Deaths on US roads increase 8%

Preliminary data released last month by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show a 7.7 percent increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in 2015, up from the 32,675 reported deaths in 2014. The NHTSA estimate shows 9 out of 10 regions within the United States had increased traffic deaths in 2015. The most significant increases came for pedestrians and bicyclists. “As the economy has improved and (fuel) prices have fallen, more Americans are driving more […]

Alcohol interlocks cut drink drive deaths by 15%

Alcohol interlocks cut drink drive deaths by 15%

A report published by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has shown that US states that require alcohol interlocks for drink driving convictions are associated with 15% fewer alcohol-related crash deaths, compared with states with less stringent requirements. The team used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 1999 to 2013. From 2004 to 2013, 18 US states made interlocks mandatory for all drink-driving convictions. They compared alcohol-involved crash deaths between 18 states with and 32 states without universal alcohol interlock requirements, […]

US states strengthen alcohol interlock laws

US states strengthen alcohol interlock laws

The US state of Pennsylvania has mandated alcohol interlocks for first time drink driving offenders. Meanwhile Virginia has set new requirements for the devices to be fitted with cameras to ensure the driver is the one taking the breath test before starting the engine. Pennsylvania’s alcohol interlock law previously applied to repeat offenders – the changes mean that first time offenders can also face the requirement. The law is expected to come into force next year. The campaign group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) […]

New York State to consider ‘textalyser’ technology

New York State to consider ‘textalyser’ technology

Two New York State politicians, together with a road safety advocacy organisation are aiming to introduce a new law requiring police to scan drivers’ mobile phones for possible activity in the run up to collisions. The proposed legislation is linked to development of technology nicknamed a ‘textalyser’ which claims to be able to scan a mobile device for recent activity such as calling or texting, without releasing personal information. The system could be carried out by police at the crash site, much as drivers […]

Mobile use at the wheel doubles crash risk – US study

Mobile use at the wheel doubles crash risk – US study

Drivers more than double their crash risk when they choose to engage in distracting activities that require them to take their eyes off the road, such as using a mobile phone, reading or writing, or using touchscreen menus on a vehicle instrument panel, according to new American research. The authors of the study say drivers engage in some type of distracting activity more than 50 percent of the time they are driving. “These findings are important because we see a younger population of drivers, […]

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

Volkswagen announces third party audit of US safety compliance

The Volkswagen Group has said it will commission an outside audit of its compliance with US safety reporting laws following allegations by Bloomberg that it failed to report lawsuits involving safety issues to the US regulator. Bloomberg reviewed 13 random lawsuits filed against Volkswagen in the last 11 years. Volkswagen had reported nine of them to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Four couldn’t be found in the database. They involved one death and three injuries described in lawsuits filed in 2007, […]

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